LLC Company Names: Everything You Need to Know
LLC company names are important when choosing to register your LLC. You’ll want to make sure your business name fits perfectly with your company.4 min read
2. Legal Requirements
3. Choose a Name that is Easy to Remember
4. Choose a Name that is Meaningful
5. Choose a Name that is Distinctive
LLC company names are important when choosing to register your LLC. When finding a name for your business, you’ll want to make sure it fits perfectly with your specific company. More importantly, you need to ensure that the name is available for use and not already in use by another business in your state.
For many LLC owners, choosing your name is probably the most important step in the formation process. While you want your name to be legal, you also want it to be memorable, distinctive, unique, and have a positive connotation to it.
How to Choose a Name
There are several items to keep in mind when choosing your LLC business name, including the following:
- Abide by the state’s requirements
- Make sure the name is easy to remember
- Choose a name that is meaningful to you
- Make your business name distinctive
Most importantly, you need to abide by the rules regarding name choice in the state you are registering in. While state could differ, almost all states have similar requirements when choosing a business name. First, you want to make sure that your business name is distinguishable. Certainly you can’t use a name that is already in use by another LLC in your state. This just simply isn’t allowed.
Once you’ve found a name that is in fact available for use, you need to include the LLC business designator, i.e. LLC, L.L.C., Limited Liability Co., Ltd. Liability Company, or some other variation thereof. You cannot include designators like Corp or Co as this gives a false impression that you are a corporation as opposed to an LLC. You cannot use certain terms, particularly words that are used in state or federal government names. This could include ATF, FBI, CIA, etc. You cannot use terms like Bank, Insurance, School, University, and more. You can find a full list of restricted terms on the Secretary of State website.
Choose a Name that is Easy to Remember
You’ll want to have a business name that people can remember. If a name can’t be remembered, then potential customers might not begin doing business with you, and current customers might not remember your business name. Moreover, you should use a name that is also easy to spell. Don’t be overly complex with your name, as your customers should be able to remember your name and be able to spell it when searching your business on the Internet.
What’s more, make your LLC name have a positive connotation. You want people to have a good feeling when they hear about your business or see it on the internet. Having a negative connotation could prevent someone from wanting to do business with you.
Choose a Name that is Meaningful
Make sure that the name you choose is meaningful to you, your business, and your industry. Use a fun and engaging name that relates to what your business does. This can significantly impact your marketing goals, as a name that relates to your business could increase your customer base and have them coming back again.
Choose a Name that is Distinctive
Now that you’ve come up with several potential business names that could be a good choice for your company, you’ll want to find out which ones are available. While this goes hand in hand with the legal requirements, you’ll still want to make sure that your business is distinctive from other companies. Even if it sounds somewhat similar, the state could refuse use of it, or alternatively, even if the state allows it, it could hurt your business if the similar-sounding name has an otherwise negative reputation.
As previously noted, your company name must be distinguishable. Therefore, if the name is identical to another business name that is currently being used in the state, then you must choose a different name.
But if the name is similar, there could be room for interpretation. For example, the following differences do not create distinguishability in your business name:
- Simply changing the spelling of your business designation at the end, i.e. ABC Farm LLC vs. ABC Farm Limited Liability Co
- Differences in singular/plural spellings, i.e. ABC Farm LLC vs. ABC Farms LLC
- Differences in articles such as A, An, or The, i.e. The ABC Farm LLC vs. An ABC Farm LLC
- The use of conjunctions like and/or/&, i.e. Down and Out LLC vs. Down & Out LLC vs. Down or Out LLC
- The use of different punctuation like hyphens, periods, or commas, i.e. ABC-Farm LLC vs. ABC.Farm LLC
- Differences in numerical or written out numbers, i.e. 123 Farm LLC vs. One Two Three Farm LLC
If you need help learning more about the requirements of naming your LLC, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5-percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law, and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with, or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.